UPEI’s executive MBA (EMBA) program and the P.E.I. Business Women’s Association partnered on a workplace bullying presentation earlier this week on the university campus.
Jodi Murphy, a UPEI EMBA graduate and teacher with the Prince Edward Island English-Language School Board shared her research findings from her signature project, an independent research project and key component of the UPEI EMBA program. These signature projects provide structure for students to conduct a deep examination of a particular area, advised by a faculty member. It also provides students with the opportunity to apply management concepts and skills that they have acquired during the EMBA program.
Murphy’s project focused on the current state of workplace bullying in Canada and the implications that this issue has on organizations. Some of her findings include the costs associated with workplace bullying, which come from loss of productivity, legal settlements and loss of good employees who have been bullied and chose to leave the organization. Workplace bullying has negative effects on the target of bullying, the other employees who witness the incidents, the organization as a whole, and some believe there are societal consequences as well.
During the session, Murphy discussed trends in workplace bullying in Canada and made a call to action.
“Awareness and education is not enough to stop bullying, there needs to be action,” said Murphy. “Awareness and education are a good start, but these approaches alone are not enough to stop bullying. We need to encourage people to stand up and not be silent to this epidemic in our workplaces. I believe our collective efforts can help us create the respectful workplaces we all desire to work in.”
“It is a pleasure to partner with the P.E.I. Business Women’s Association on this event and we are pleased to share some of the valuable and interesting research by our executive MBA students,” said Dr. Roberta MacDonald, director of UPEI’s EMBA program. “This sharing and working together will help us to become a stronger community of P.E.I. business women.”
“Prince Edward Island workplaces are not immune to workplace bullying. Jodi’s research will raise awareness about this important issue and hopefully encourage further ongoing discussion within our own business community to nurture healthier working environments,” said April Ennis, president of the P.E.I. Business Women’s Association.
Murphy’s research illustrates that for such a serious problem, Canada has been slow to implement legislation which would make workplace bullying illegal. There is no national legislation in Canada dealing with workplace bullying and only four provinces have adopted provincial legislation—Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan—to make workplace bullying illegal.